Saturday, July 25, 2015


I don't love eating pancakes, but I love making them. Every Saturday and sometimes on Sunday too Nooriya and I make pancakes. It's wonderful. I'm up early, it's peaceful, and it's something the kids and I look forward to. I'm not much of a cook but Nooriya tells me I could be a chef at IHOP;)

We've developed this routine and it makes me feel great. I have come to realize that it's not the pancakes or the making the pancakes with Nooriya or even the routine; I crave the good feeling, the high, I've been lucky enough to associate with the feeling with the kids and Saturdays. 

I want to more consciously associate this feeling with the things that are really important to me, Zahra and the kids. I don't want to waste that feeling on things like work or other "distractions". 

At work I have a twice yearly process I have to write down my goals and priorities for the year and assess them.  I usually think of this as HR BS and office drudgery. 

My goals should be simple and I will do well to read this at least twice a year. 

This is Nooriya's pancake recipe. I love it!!!

(Pancake mix

Saturday, July 04, 2015


It's been a long day. Tonight, Yusuf is giving bags of candy to some friends. It is wonderful to watch I can't help but smile. 

Smile Taher.

 Just a reminder. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

First namaz

Yesterday in our soon to be house we did namaz for the first time. The house was still very rough around the edges and there was construction debris covering much of the floor. 

It was amazing. It was the first of hopefully many to come with family. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that so many things had come together in life. It was the culmination of all that and the beginning as well. 

Since I was "young", I've had the feeling that the best stage of life was just starting and was just around the corner as well.  


Taher, don't rush to get around the corner. 

Monday, June 22, 2015


Iftar today was Madeleine cookies, a kind Yusuf and Nooriya love. Yusuf is a big kid now and he does namaz with the other kids now which is a bit sad for me that he's getting bigger and bigger.  But he still comes back to do Iftar with me. 

I watched him enjoy his cookie. He was focused and really enjoyed what he was doing. I doubt there was much else on his mind. He was in the moment and distracted by nothing. I wished I could feel what he was feeling, but I'm so glad just to watch and notice. Alhamdolillah. 

There's too much that's almost always going on. So much that I feeI I need a vacation from it all. Yusuf and Nooriya remind me that I don't need a vacation. Sometimes just a cookie;) 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I get a lot of time to think during Ramadan. There's so much peaceful time just sitting.  Just sit more often Taher.

I've been thinking about the many things going just right. I'm often reminded that it's not that way for everyone and I think Alhamdolilah. I also think "I wish it could just be like this all the time". 

Things are good, but all this time spent reflecting in Ramadan so far is helping me remember it's still relative. I'm remembering I can be better and it's not good enough to just be the same, whatever that may be.

Don't be complacent Taher, there's always room to improve. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Adjacent Possible

My involvement with the Casualty Actuarial Society recently started.  I'm on a council tasked with changing the professions culture to be innovative.  I've spent the last couple months learning about what innovation is and all the companies out there that have this illusive quality.  It's really a pretty cool job; I'm helping change the whole profession to be more relevant and shed the image of the stereotypical actuary that is nerdy and is not effective because they lack some important social skills.  I'm the perfect person for the job:P

There's good reason the innovation quality is illusive. There are many "experts" and I work with a consultant who I assume is pretty expensive.  I've read a lot.  It sounds like lots of buzz words so far and not much substance.

I changed my mind all of a sudden.  Well sort of; innovation is pretty intangible. I read something that resonated and I want to write it down.  I've spent much time thinking about taking things step by step and how that gets me to a place far from where I began.

I read about an idea the author coined "the adjacent possible".  The author barely referenced coming up with ideas and innovation buzz words.  He talked about nature.  It's about how things don't just *happen*.   It's rare in nature and in ideas that things "ahead of their time".  There are steps that need to happen to get from one place to another.  "Doors" need to be opened for other "doors" to be reachable.

There's no skipping.  Taher, keep opening doors.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


The Hubble telescope just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It's being hailed as the greatest scientific achievement. I've been reading about it in the many news stories commemorating it. Some cool facts I've learned are:

It can see a dime from 25 miles away
It's public and anyone can request to use it
It can see 13.4 billion miles away
It takes pictures in black and white 
It's moving at 5 miles per second 

In short, it's amazing. Coincidentally, I'm reading a Sci Fi book written years before the Hubble went into space. It has awesome and beautiful descriptions of space and things that we can only imagine. The book describes well things that we don't know are there. 

The Hubble has let us see things we didn't know were there. There are moons and planets and galaxies we didn't know existed that we can see now. The Hubble inspires belief that just because something isn't apparent yet it will be. 

Both the imagination of the author and the science inspire me to wonder. Taher, don't forget that because you may not understand or see there's more to it.